On Wednesday, Pakistan raised the issue of Kashmir at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting held on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly sessions. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi briefed the OIC Contact Group about atrocities committed against Kashmiris by the Indian state in the occupied territory.
Chaired by Secretary General of the OIC Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, the meeting was attended by Mevlut Cavusagolu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey Shah Mehmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Elmar Mammadyarov, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Abdallah al Mouallimi, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the U.N., and Kalla Ankourouu, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Niger.
The meeting focused on the continuous act of Indian aggression against innocent Kashmiri civilians and human rights violations by Indian security forces. “We urge the Human Rights Council for an expedited action to constitute the commission of inquiry to investigate gross human rights violations in India-held Kashmir,” Qureshi said, adding that if India had nothing to hide, it must allow rights bodies to visit Jammu and Kashmir.
“We also call upon India to give access to Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of OIC to undertake a visit of India-occupied Kashmir. ... Over the past 70 years, Kashmiris living under Indian occupation have been killed, raped, tortured and maimed all in the name of ‘peace’,” he said. “During this entire span of time, the international community has stood by and watched,” the Pakistan Foreign Minister said.
Indian-Occupied Kashmir, which is basically under military rule by Indian armed forces, have witnessed army brutality in various forms. From forced relocation to indiscriminate killing of civilians, to rape and sexual assault of women, to curbing dissent, to arrest and assassination of journalists, Kashmiri people have faced every sort of violence.
In June, the UNHRC brought out its first report on rights abuse in Kashmir and called for an international probe into the past and ongoing violations of human rights in the conflict zone. India rejected the UNHRC report on Human rights violation in Kashmir.
Immediately after the release of the report, Shujaat Bukhari, a famous journalist, and editor of a local English daily from the valley was brutally assassinated in public. On Thursday, one civilian was killed by the army during a cordon and search operation in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and three militants were killed during two separate gunfights in Anantnag and Budgam districts.
This happened a day after India called OIC’s solidarity with Kashmir and acceptance of Pakistan’s claims of human right violations completely “unwarranted”.
“As far as OIC is concerned, we always note with regret that the matter, which is very internal to Indian affairs, was again discussed at OIC. We reject such references to a matter very internal to India. We have said in the past that OIC has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal affairs. We feel that it is completely unwarranted to discuss a matter related to India’s internal affairs in any multicultural setup,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar responded to the OIC Contact Group meeting.